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The Effect of Marriage on Education of Immigrants: Evidence from a Policy Reform Restricting Spouse Import

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Author Info

  • Nielsen, Helena Skyt

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Smith, Nina

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Celikaksoy, Aycan

    ()
    (Aarhus School of Business)

Abstract

We investigate the effect of immigrants’ marriage behavior on dropout from education. To identify the causal effect, we exploit a recent Danish policy reform which generated exogenous variation in marriage behavior by a complete abolishment of spouse import for immigrants below 24 years of age. We find that the abrupt change of marriage behavior following the reform is associated with improved educational attainment of young immigrants. The causal impact of marriage on dropout for males is estimated to be around 20 percentage points, whereas the effect for females is small and mostly insignificant. We interpret the results as being consistent with a scenario where family investment motives drive the behavior of males, while the association between marriage and dropout for females is driven by selection effects. The estimated causal effect varies considerably across subgroups.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2899.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2009, 111(3), 457 - 486
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2899

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Keywords: immigrants; family investment model; dropout; marriage migration; education; spouse import;

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References

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  1. Gang, Ira N. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Is Child like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," IZA Discussion Papers 57, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage And Labor Markets? Evidence From America'S Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038, August.
  3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Joan Y. Moriarty & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 9051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
  5. Chiara Monfardini & Rosalba Radice, 2008. "Testing Exogeneity in the Bivariate Probit Model: A Monte Carlo Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(2), pages 271-282, 04.
  6. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2005. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans," NBER Working Papers 11423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jakobsen, Vibeke & Smith, Nina, 2003. "The Educational Attainment of the Children of the Danish ‘Guest Worker’ Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 749, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Joan Y. Moriarty & Andre Portela Souza, 2003. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 429-447, March.
  9. Aycan Çelikaksoy & Helena Nielsen & Mette Verner, 2006. "Marriage migration: just another case of positive assortative matching?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 253-275, 09.
  10. Ours, J.C. van & Veenman, J.M.C., 2002. "From parent to Child: Early Labor Market Experiences of Second-Generation Immigrants in the Netherlands," Discussion Paper 2002-105, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Michael Svarer & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2006. "Educational Homogamy: Preferences or Opportunities?," Economics Working Papers 2006-10, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  12. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Michael Rosholm & Nina Smith & Leif Husted, 2003. "The school-to-work transition of 2 nd generation immigrants in Denmark," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 755-786, November.
  13. Brian Duncan & Stephen Trejo, 2006. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmaresured Progress by Mexican Americans," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0602, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  14. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 791-821.
  15. Iyigun, Murat & Walsh, Randall P., 2005. "Building the Family Nest: Pre-Marital Investments, Marriage Markets and Spousal Allocations," IZA Discussion Papers 1752, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
  18. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education when Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 152-175, March.
  19. Rosholm, Michael & Husted, Leif & Skyt Nielsen, Helena, 2002. "Integration over generationer? Andengenerationsindvandrernes uddannelse," CLS Working Papers 02-1, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
  20. Colding, Bjorg, 2006. "A dynamic analysis of educational progression of children of immigrants," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 479-492, August.
  21. Regina T. Riphahn, 2003. "Cohort effects in the educational attainment of second generation immigrants in Germany: An analysis of census data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 711-737, November.
  22. van Ours, Jan C. & Veenman, Justus, 2002. "From Parent to Child: Early Labor Market Experiences of Second-Generation Immigrants in the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Weiss, Yoram, 1993. "The formation and dissolution of families: Why marry? Who marries whom? And what happens upon divorce," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 81-123 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aycan, Çelikaksoy & Lena, Nekby & Saman, Rashid, 2009. "Assortative Mating by Ethnic Background and Education in Sweden: The Role of Parental Composition on Partner Choice," SULCIS Working Papers 2009:7, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  2. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Lee, Soohyung, 2012. "Brides for Sale: Cross-Border Marriages and Female Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 6458, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Furtado, Delia & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2008. "Interethnic Marriage: A Choice between Ethnic and Educational Similarities," IZA Discussion Papers 3448, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Nekby, Lena, 2010. "Same, Same but (Initially) Different? The Social Integration of Natives and Immigrants in Sweden," SULCIS Working Papers 2010:4, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  5. Delia Furtado, 2007. "Cross-Nativity Marriages, Gender, and Human Capital Levels of Children," Working papers 2007-33, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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